What chemicals need to be on the chemical inventory list? For which chemicals do I need an MSDS? Does this include bottles of household cleaning supplies kept in an office?
The requirement for a general inventory of chemicals in the workplace and maintaining Material Safety Data Sheets are both found in the Hazard Communication Standard, which requires the employer to maintain a list of hazardous substances known to be present in the workplace (8 CCR 5194 (e)) and have a material safety data sheet for each hazardous substance that they use (8 CCR 5194 (g)). Therefore, the inventory and MSDS binder should include all chemicals in the work place that are being used by employees or are part of a lab/production process except for the following (8 CCR 5194 (b)(5)):
Any hazardous wastes, wood products that will not be cut or processed, materials for personal consumption by employees (such as tobacco, foods, drugs, cosmetics), or consumer products, provided that employee exposure is not significantly greater than the exposure that occurs through normal consumer use of the product.
For example, if an employee uses window cleaner in the workplace to occasionally clean a window then the employer is not required to keep an MSDS on this material. However, if it is the employee's duty to clean windows all day long as a routine job function then an MSDS would be required.
March 22, 2013